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My natural hair care journey hasn't been an easy one. I have experienced everything from hair falling out when I tried the whole baking soda thing, to super oily and heavy detoxing hair that I had to wear up for a little over 2 months before it was finally done detoxing. These days, my hair is longer than it's ever been my whole life and it's far healthier than it was 2 years ago. This journey has taught me a lot about my hair, but it's also taught me to love the hair that I was given. Over the last 2 years of creating my own herbal hair care products, I have found a very simple ingredient to be my star secret in my natural hair care routine. Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar!
Apple cider vinegar has many uses in hair care
Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar is my "dirty" (clean!) little secret when it comes to natural DIY hair care! Not only does it help to pH balance our hair and scalp (our scalp's sebum runs acidic and that acid mantle is destroyed and disrupted when alkaline products are used on it!), but ACV (as it's called for short) is also great for:
- combating tangles, reduce frizz, & prevent split ends
- cleansing & conditioning hair
- treating hair loss, dry itchy scalp, and dandruff
With so many different benefits to our hair and scalp, I love to add ACV to as many hair care recipes as I can, including my Herbal Goddess ACV hair rinse; that can be used in place of shampoo, conditioner, detangler, and more!
Herbs to give your hair that silken goddess shine
While ACV by itself has many benefits to our hair and scalp, the great thing about it is that it can be used to infuse hair healing herbs into it (exactly the same way you would a tincture with alcohol), for an even more awesome end result! Herbal infused vinegar has been used in herbal medicine for as long as vinegar has been around. Early Gypsies formulated all sorts of different healing herbal infused vinegar potions that they used for everything from hair conditioning rinses, antiseptic mouthwashes, headache remedies, soothing aftershaves, foot baths, and more!
Many of the herbs that I use in my Herbal Goddess Soapnuts Shampoo, Herbal Mud Shampoo, and for hair conditioning and coloring have some fantastic hair healing properties, from dandruff to hair growth and everything in between, you can up the awesomeness of your ACV hair rinse using herbs!
- Horsetail - Rich in silica, horsetail is a fabulous herb to use for rapid hair growth and strengthening. I use this herb in nearly all of my DIY herbal hair care recipes.
- Oatstraw - Oatstraw is a nutrient dense herb, rich in silica, vitamins A,C, & E, and magnesium. This is another herb that I always use in all of my DIY herbal hair care recipes.
- Lavender buds - One of my all-time favorite herbs, lavender is fantastic in hair care. It's naturally antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and even anti-inflammatory; making this awesome smelling herb a great multi-purpose herb to use for all your hair care needs.
- Nettle leaf - Rich in vitamins and minerals, nettle is a fantastic herb to use to help stimulate the scalp for hair growth and strengthening.
- Rosemary leaf- A well-known herb for hair growth and strengthening, rosemary is great for use against dandruff as well as many other scalp type problems.
- Hibiscus flowers- This naturally conditioning herb is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and can even be used to enhance red colors in your hair.
- Calendula flowers - This naturally healing herb has many great properties to help soothe and heal all sorts of scalp issues and can be used to enhance blonde hair color.
- Chamomile flowers - A naturally soothing and anti-inflammatory herb, chamomile is another great herb for scalp conditions and is also a great brightener for blonde hair color.
- Marshmallow root - This naturally emollient and conditioning herb, marshmallow root helps give that conditioning slip that you find in many natural creme' conditioners. I always add this herb to my hair care recipes, to give my hair that extra smooth, tamed, and conditioned look.
- Licorice root - This awesome root is another moisture and slip giving herb but it's also fantastic for many scalp conditions and hair loss issues. Licorice root is a favorite hair growth herb of mine!
- Peppermint leaf - Naturally antibacterial and antifungal, mint leaves add a refreshing cool boost to hair care products. This growth stimulating herb is also fantastic for most scalp issues too. Spearmint can also be used!
- Eucalyptus leaf - Just like peppermint, this naturally antibacterial/antifungal herb has fantastic scalp stimulating properties for hair growth, cleansing, and scalp issues.
- Pine needles - Rich in vitamins, pine needles (and cypress, fir, cedarwood, and more!) have natural astringent and antiseptic properties. When used in hair care, pine needles can help with many scalp issues, have been proven to aid in hair growth, and to stimulate the scalp.
- Citrus peels - After you eat that organic orange, save the peel and use them for your hair care! Citrus peels help to clarify and cleanse the scalp, re-balance the oil cycle, and provide moisture. Citrus peels have many different properties making them great for combating skin and scalp conditions, lice, and even lightening blonde hair if lemon peels are used.
Herbal Goddess Herbal Infused Apple Cider Vinegar
This herbal infused vinegar is fantastic to keep on hand because you can use it in place of ACV in many of the hair care recipes on this site! I love to substitute this vinegar in my Herbal Goddess Soapnuts Shampoo, and even in my henna coloring mixes when I make up a batch of henna to color my hair. You can substitute any of the other herbs you'd like to add to this recipe, or add in additional herbs to enhance coloring and condition. I love to add hibiscus and rose petals to my own mixture because it gives my hair rinse a nice red color boost!
- 2 parts marshmallow root
- 1 part horsetail
- 1 part oatstraw
- 1 part rosemary leaf
- 1 part lavender buds
- raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- mason jar with plastic lid (the vinegar will erode the metal lids, so if using a metal lid, be sure to place plastic wrap or parchment paper on the top of the jar before putting the lid on)
- Combine dry herbs in a mason jar and pour raw unfiltered ACV over the herbs, filling to the top of the jar.
- After putting the lid on, store jar in a warm sunny location for up to 2 weeks, gently shaking to mix every day.
- Strain herbs from the liquid, making sure to squeeze every last drop out, and store in the fridge for an extra long shelf life. Use in any recipes calling for ACV!
Herbal Goddess Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
I use this hair rinse after I no 'poo my hair, henna my hair, or just to detangle my hair when I need to comb it quickly. I love the soft silky feeling it leaves my hair afterward, and always keep a big spray bottle of it in my shower! Even the hubby uses it after he uses our soapnuts no 'poo! If desired, you can add essential oils to this recipe as well, just be sure to shake well before use and always investigate each oil before using them in your body care products! It may seem like a small amount of ACV in this recipe, but the more you use, the more it can off balance the oils in your hair, so diluting it with water helps to give your hair just the right amount. You can double or halve this recipe depending on the size bottle you have on hand. I love to use 16 oz. glass spray bottles because it sprays a decent amount onto my head instead of a small mist! You can find these bottles in plastic form too, but glass containers are always better if you are planning on using essential oils in the bottles!
- 16 oz. glass spray bottle
- 2 Tbsp. raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (this is where I substitute the herbal infused hair cider vinegar!)
- 2 Tbsp. aloe vera gel
- filtered water to fill
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops sweet orange essential oil
- Combine ingredients in spray bottle and store in your shower when not in use.
- Spray onto your hair, saturating your hair completely. You can either leave in without rinsing or rinse with water after letting sit on your hair for a few minutes, just like any creme conditioner.
PRO TIP - I use this spray to freshen my hair in between washes too! I only wash my hair once a week, but with this spray, I will "wash" my hair with it just like my "no-poo", every time I take a shower in between washes. It works great when you are in a pinch and have no shampoo left too! I have washed my hair with this rinse so often!